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(Agricultural  Engineer,  Jaffa). 

•  -> 

Published  by  Zionist  Organisation  (London  Bureau), 
35,  Empire  House,  175,  Piccadilly,  W.  1» 

PRICE  4d. 


The  Jewish    Colonisation 

in   Palestine. 


By   S.    TOLKOWSKY    (Agricultural    Engineer,  Jaffa). 

THE  idea  of  an  agricultural  colonisation  of  Palestine 
by  the  Jews  is  not  an  entirely  new  one.  As  early  as 
the  end  of  the  sixteenth  century  Don  Joseph  Nasi,  a 
Jewish  Duke  of  Naxos,  began  to  rebuild  the  town  of  Tiberias, 
and  in  order  to  induce  the  inhabitants  to  take  up  silk  culture, 
he  planted  there  a  large  number  of  mulberry-trees.  In  1629 
Moses  ben  Joseph  of  Trani  reported  that  the  Jews  of  Palestine 
were  engaged  in  the  cultivation  of  cotton,  cereals,  and 
vegetables,  and  in  the  rearing  of  silkworms  and  bees.*  It 
is  difficult  to  say  precisely  for  what  reasons  they  subsequently 
abandoned  agriculture ;  the  fact  remains  that  a  century 
ago  the  eight  or  ten  thousand  Jews  who  inhabited  Palestine 
were  strictly  confined  to  a  few  towns  (Jerusalem,  Tiberias, 
Safed),  and  had 'no  relations  with  any  Jewish  community 
outside  the  country. 

It  wa;  not  until  about  the  middle  of  last  century  that  the 
European  Jews  began  to  interest  themselves  in  the  possibility 
of  an  agricultural  colonisation  of  Palestine.  In  1854  Sir 
Moses  Montefiore,  whose  interest  had  been  aroused  as  a 
consequence  of  several  visits  to  the  country,  was  received 
by  the  Sultan,  and  had  an  -interview  with  the  British 
Ambassador,  Lord  Stratford  de  Redcliffe,  regarding  purchases 
of  land  which  he  wished  to  make  in  Palest ine.f  The  practical 
result  of  his  efforts  was  that  he  gave  thirty-five  families  of 
Safed  the  necessary  means  for  setting  up  farms. 

About   1860   some   Russian   Rabbis   started   a   project   for 

*  D.  Trietsch  :   "  Palastina-Handbuch  "  (1912). 

+  In  1845  Colonel  Gawler.  a  British  officer,  founded  a  colonising  society  with  the  same 
object,  but  in  view  of  the  unsettled  situation  which  followed  the  Turco-Egyptian  War, 
his  projects  could  not  be  realised,    (D.  Trietsch,  op.  cit.) 


colonising  Palestine  with  Russian  and  Rumanian  Jews, 
and  thanks  to  the  support  of  liberal  Jewish  circles,  the  Alliance 
Israelite  Universelle  of  Paris  became  interested  in  the  idea. 
This  society  sent  a  special  envoy  to  make  an  investigation 
on  the  spot,  and  as  a  result  of  his  report  it  was  decided  to 
found  in  Palestine  an  agricultural  school  for  Jewish  children 
of  the  Near  Eastern  countries.  The  Ottoman  Government 
granted  the  society  625  acres  of  land  situated  near  Jaffa, 
on  the  road  to  Jerusalem,  and  it  is  here  that,  in  1870,  was 
founded  the  farm-school  of  Mikweh-Israel,  in  which  the  pupils 
are  taught  all  branches  of  agriculture,  and  in  particular  the 
culture  of  the  vine  and  of  other  fruits.  Many  old  pupils  of 
this  school  are  to-day  teachers  of  agriculture  in  the  schools 
of  various  Jewish  colonies  ;  others  are  engaged  in  practical 
agriculture  in  Palestine  or  in  the  neighbouring  Turkish 
provinces,  as  well  as  in  Egypt. 

In  1878  the  idea  of  a  Jewish  settlement  in  Palestine  was 
again  broached  by  Laurence  Oliphant  and  the  Earl  of 
Shaftesbury,  with  the  result  that  some  Jews  of  Jerusalem 
bought  from  an  Arab  of  Jaffa  675  acres  of  land,  situated  nine 
miles  from  that  city,  on  the  banks  of  the  River  Audja,  and 
there  founded  the  colony  of  Petach-Tikwah. 

About  the  same  time  the  persecutions  of  the  Jews  in  Russia 
and  Rumania,  having  become  more  severe,  caused  the  idea 
of  emigration  and  national  settlement  in  Palestine  to  gain 
ground  among  the  intellectual  circles  of  those  countries.     In 
Russia  were  formed  students'  clubs,  the  members  of  which 
intended  to  emigrate  in  groups  to  Palestine  in  order  to  become 
there  the  pioneers  of  colonisation  ;    and  at  the  same  time  a 
great  colonising  society  was  founded  under  the  name  of  Chovere 
Zion  (Lovers  of  Zion).     It  was  partly  such  groups  of  students, 
and  partly  isolated  arrivals  from  Russia  and  Rumania,  who, 
between  1882   and   1884,   founded  in  Judaea  the  colonies  of 
Rishon-le-Zion,     Wad-el-Chanin,    and    Katrah ;     in    Samaria 
that  of  Zichr on- Jacob  ;    and  in  Galilee  those  of  Rosh-Pinah, 
Yessod  -  Hamaaleh,     and     Mish?nar  -  Hajarden.       But     the 
inhabitants  of  all  these  colonies  had  to  cope  with  most  serious 
obstacles.     They  were   all   children   of  the  towns  ;     none   of 
them  had  the  slightest  knowledge  of  agriculture.     Moreover, 
the  conditions  of  the  country  to  which  they  came  were  entirely 
different    from    anything    that    they    had    ever    seen    before. 
Ignorant    of   the    language    and    the    customs    of   the    Arab 
inhabitants,    unacquainted    with    the    local    laws,    unfamiliar 
with  those  elementary  principles  of  hygiene,  the  non-observance 
of  which  could  not  remain  unpunished  in  a  country  where 
malaria-fever    and    other    epidemic    diseases    were    rampant, 
these  first  pioneers  of  Jewish  colonisation  in  Palestine  found 
themselves  confronted   with  a  task  the   execution  of  which 

exceeded  by  far  the  possibilities  of  their  very  limited  financial 
means  and  their  still  less  adequate  technical  training. 

The   difficulties  resulting  from   their  unpreparedness   were 
intensified  yet  further  by  the  unfavourable  conditions  prevailing 
in  the  country.     Public  safety  was  only  a  word  in  Palestine 
at  that  time.     Public  hygiene  did  not  receive  the  least  attention 
from    the    authorities,    and    the    result    was    that  the   most 
important  inland  towns,  as  well  as  the  greatest  part  of  the 
maritime  plain,  were  infested  with  malaria-fever  and  different 
eye-diseases.     There    were    no    physicians,    no    chemists,    no 
hospitals.     There  was  as  yet  not  a  single  railway  line,  and 
the  few  roads  existing  of  old  had  been  so  neglected  that  they 
had    become    absolutely    impracticable ;     in    fact,    carriages, 
camels,  and  horses  used  to  travel  through  the  fields  alongside 
the  roads,   the  latter  serving  only  to  show  the  right  way. 
Cattle-breeding  was  almost  impossible,  because  ever-recurring 
epidemics,   which  nobody  attempted  to  fight,   were  allowed 
every  two   or  three   years  to  ravage  the  herds   throughout 
the  country.     As  for  agriculture  proper,  there  was  no  expert 
guidance  as  to  which  plants  could  most  profitably  be  grown, 
and  as  to  the  methods  of  growing  them  ;    and  in  the  absence 
of  any  guidance  in  this  respect,  the  only  way  open  to  the 
Jewish  settlers  was  to  take  a  lead  from  the  surrounding  Arab 
population  and  to  try  to  imitate  as  best  they  could  the  methods 
used  by  them.     Unfortunately,  however,  the  fellaheen,  with 
their  typical  Oriental  lack  of  foresight,   which  makes  them 
constantly  sacrifice  the  future  to  the  present,  have  no  other 
principle  of  agriculture  than  to  try  to  make  their  fields  yield 
as  much  as  they  can  with  their  very  primitive  methods,  and 
without  ever  troubling  themselves  about  destroying  weeds, 
removing   stones,    or   even   maintaining   the   fertility   of  the 
soil  by  replacing,  in  the  shape  of  manures,  the  elements  which 
the  crops  have  taken  away.     It  does  not  need  the  mind  of 
an  expert  to   understand  that   centuries   of  such   treatment 
must    have    resulted    in    a    heavy    strain    upon    the    once 
proverbial     natural     fertility     of     the     soil     of     Palestine ; 
but   although   in   consequence    of    this   decrease   of  fertility 
the    yields    of    the  -  crops    have    become    very    poor,    they 
are     still     sufficient     to     meet     the     needs     of     the     Arab 
population,    whose    standard    of    living    is    extremely    low. 
Not  so  with  the  Jewish  immigrants,  who  brought  with  them 
requirements,  in  the  matters  of  food,  clothing,  housing  and 
hygiene,  much  more  refined  and  much  more  difficult  to  satisfy. 
No  doubt  the  soil  can  be  cleaned  of  stones  and  weeds,  its 
fertility  can  be  restored  and  even  increased  ;   but  this  requires 
technical   knowledge   and   considerable   financial   means,    and 
the  first  Jewish  colonists  had  neither.     What  happened  was 
that  when  they  had  paid  the  purchase  price  for  their  land, 

a  2 


when  they  had  built  their  primitive  cottages, when  seeds  and 
tools  had  been  purchased,  the  colonists  found  that  they  had 
spent  most  of  their  funds  before  they  had  even  gathered  in 
their  first  meagre  crop.  And  when  the  first  crop,  and  the 
second,  turned  out  to  be  utterly  insufficient  to  furnish  a  living 
for  the  colonists  and  their  families,  the  conviction  dawned  upon 
them  that  there  must  be  something  wrong  in  their  work,  and 
that  a  radical  change  of  method  was  indispensable.  But  the 
available  funds  had  been  spent,  and  from  without  no  adequate 
help  was  to  be  expected.  In  Russia  the  Choveve-Zion  move- 
ment was  still  in  its  infancy,  and  commanded  but  small  financial 
means  ;  whilst  western  Jewry,  which  had  not  yet  been  stirred 
by  the  call  of  Theodor  Herzl,  was  ignorant  of  the  very  existence 
of  the  handful  of  pioneers  who  were  struggling  against  over- 
whelming odds  in  their  attempts  to  initiate  the  self-emancipa- 
tion of  the  Jewish  people  in  its  historic  home. 

It  was  at  this  critical  moment,  in  1884,  that  Baron  Edmond 
de  Rothschild  intervened.  Having  learnt  by  chance  of  the 
difficulties  with  which  the  young  Jewish  colonies  were  strug- 
gling, he  sent  a  representative  to  Palestine  with  instructions  to 
enquire  into  the  causes  of  these  difficulties  and  to  determine 
the  means  to  be  employed  for  their  removal.  As  a  result  of 
these  enquiries,  Baron  Rothschild  decided  to  take  under  his 
protection  the  four  colonies  whose  situation  was  most  em- 
barrassing. His  experts  had  rightly  concluded  that  the 
exclusive  cultivation  of  cereals  neither  provided  sufficient 
income  for  the  immediate  sustenance  of  the  colonists  and 
their  families,  nor  offered  any  favourable  prospects  for  the 
future,  and  that  it  was  necessary  therefore  to  devote  at  least  a 
part  of  the  land  to  the  cultivation  of  fruit  trees.  Accordingly, 
by  order  of  the  Baron  large  vineyards  were  planted  with  the 
best  varieties  of  French  vines,  and  at  Rishon-le-Zion  large 
wine-cellars  were  built  with  a  total  capacity  of  1,650,000 

Between  1884  and  1888  he  founded  the  new  colonies  of 
Ekron,  Sheveya,  and  Bath-Shlomoh,  and  between  1889  and 
1899  he  bought  many  large  sites  in  Lower  Galilee  and  in 
Samaria,  and  29,000  acres  near  El-Muzerib  in  Trans jordania. 

At  the  same  time  other  colonies  were  established  :  Rechoboth 
(1890)  and  Chederah  (1891),  by  Russian  colonising  societies; 
Mozah  (1891),  four  miles  from  Jerusalem,  by  Jews  from  that 
city  ;  Castinieh  (1895)  by  the  Russian  Society  of  "  Lovers  of 
Zion  "  ;  Metitla  (1896),  at  the  foot  of  Mount  Hermon,  by 
Rothschild  ;    Artuf  (1896)  by  a  Bulgarian  Society. 

The  example  of  these  colonies,  where  the  creation  of  vine- 
yards had  given  work  to  a  large  number  of  settlers  and  labourers, 
induced  other  colonies  to  plant  vines  on  a  big  scale,  and  to 
neglect  almost  completely  the  cultivation  of  any  other  crop. 

Monoculture,  the  exclusive  cultivation  of  one  plant,  involves 
considerable  risks  even  under  normal  conditions  ;  in  times 
of  stress  it  generally  proves  fatal  to  those  who  have  made  it 
the  basis  of  their  economic  life.  Whilst  the  Jewish  colonics 
were  multiplying  their  vineyards,  the  price  of  wine  on  the 
European  markets  had  begun  to  fall ;  and  by  the  time  that 
the  Palestinian  vineyards  were  reaching  their  full  productivity, 
the  price  of  wine  had  fallen  so  low  that  the  piece  of  land  pos- 
sessed by  each  settler  no  longer  yielded  a  nett  profit  sufficient 
to  supply  the  needs  of  his  family.  In  order  to  save  the  colonists 
from  destitution,  the  Baron's  administration,  at  very  con- 
siderable sacrifice,  went  on  taking  over  the  wine  at  an  artificial 
price  high  enough  to  allow  the  colonists  to  live.  But,  in 
consequence  of  the  increasing  yield  of  the  vineyards,  the 
deficit  resulting  from  the  difference  between  the  price  at  which 
the  administration  bought  wine  from  the  colonists  and  the 
price  at  which  it  sold  the  same  wine  on  the  European  markets 
soon  became  so  enormous  that  the  Baron  was  forced  to  admit 
that  it  would  be  impossible  for  him  to  continue  the  system 
indefinitely.  He  realised  that  radical  reforms  were  needed, 
and  that  they  could  not  lead  to  good  results  save  through 
an  organisation  specially  prepared  for  colonising  work. 
He  approached  the  Jewish  Colonisation  Association  (the 
"  J.C.A."),  and  concluded  with  it  an  agreement  whereby  the 
J.C.A.  undertook  to  reorganise  his  Palestinian  colonies. 

In  order  to  mitigate  the  manifold  drawbacks  and  dangers 
of  monoculture,  the  J.C.A.  bought  good  arable  land,  specially 
adapted  for  the  cultivation  of  cereals  and  other  annual  plants, 
in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  vine  colonies,  and 
divided  this  land  among  the  colonists.  At  the  same  time, 
352  vine  planters  were  grouped  into  a  syndicate  known  as 
the  w'  Co-operative  Society  of  the  Great  Cellars  of  Rishon-le- 
Zion  and  Zichron- Jacob."  This  syndicate  took  over  the 
cellars,  the  existing  wine  and  the  claims,  and  was  granted 
sufficient  working  capital  to  manage  the  whole  business. 
A  special  company  for  the  sale  of  the  wine  was  formed  under 
the  name  of  "  Carmel,"  with  agencies  in  many  countries  ;  the 
Palestine  Wine  and  Trading  Company,  of  London,  is  affiliated 
to  it.  Measures  were  taken  without  delay  for  reducing  pro- 
duction, so  as  to  keep  it  always  proportionate  to  sale  ;  and 
in  four  years  the  production  was  reduced  from  1,-130,000 
gallons  to  528,000  gallons,  that  is  to  say,  by  about  two-thirds. 
This  result  was  obtained  by  uprooting  hundreds  of  acres  of 
vineyards  and  planting  olives,  almonds  and  oranges  in  their 
place.  The  sacrifice  was  heavy,  but  it  met  with  its  reward, 
and  to-day  wine-growing  and  the  wine-trade  arc  established 
on  a  sound  basis  and  are  one  of  the  main  sources  of  wealth 
in  the  country. 


Between  1899  and  1908  the  J.C.A.  founded  the  new  colonies 
of  Sedjera  (1899),  Meslia  (1902),  Melhamieh  (1902),  Yemma 
(1902),  Bedjen  (1905),  Atlit  (1907),  Kinnereth  (1908),  and 
Mizpah  (1908). 

In  all  these  colonies  the  J.C.A.,  by  a  wisely  conceived  ad- 
ministration, which  aimed  at  making  the  conduct  of  affairs 
pass  gradually  into  the  hands  of  the   colonists  themselves, 
strove  to  awaken  the  spirit  of  initiative  among  the  settlers  and 
to  develop  their  best  energies.     But,  although  the  J.C.A.  suc- 
ceeded  to   a  great   extent   in  these   educational   efforts,   the 
atmosphere  of  bureaucratic  philanthropy  in  which  its  work 
and  that  of  the  Baron  had  necessarily  been  carried  on  had 
deeply  affected  the  morale  of  the  colonists.     Their  own  help- 
lessness in  face  of  threatening  disaster  and  their  entire  de- 
pendence on  help  from  without  had  destroyed  their  confidence 
in  themselves  and  weakened  their  will  and  their  power  to  pull 
through  in  bad  times.     The  necessity  of  remaining  at  all  costs 
on  good  terms  with  the  agents  through  whom  financial  help 
was  doled  out  produced  an  unhealthy  atmosphere  of  servile 
obedience   on   the   one   side   and   of  a   somewhat   autocratic 
favouritism  on  the  other.       Under  the  influence  of  the  short 
period  of  relative  prosperity  through  which  they  had  passed — 
a  prosperity  not  earned  by  their  own  efforts — the  lofty  idealism 
that  had  bid  the  colonists  emigrate  to  Palestine  fifteen  or  twenty 
years  before  had  largely  vanished  and  given  place  to  more 
materialistic  tendencies  ;   their  whole  outlook  had  undergone  a 
considerable  change,  and  instead  of  bringing  up  their  children 
on  the  land,  and  in  such  a  way  as  to  make  them  Palestinian 
farmers,  many  had  begun  to  send  them  to  the  numerous  schools 
which  the  Alliance,  the  Hilfsverein  der  Deutschen  Juden  and  the 
Anglo-Jewish   Association   were   creating   in   the   towns,    and 
where  an  education  given  in  French,  German,  or  English  was 
preparing    the    young    generation    for    future    emigration    to 
European  or  American  countries.     In  short,  whilst  the  imme- 
diate  material   situation   of  the   colonists   had   been   greatly 
improved,   the  future  of  the  national  settlement  was  being 
gravely  imperilled  :     on  the   one  hand   by  the  tendency  to 
emigrate,  which  was  fast  spreading  among  the  young  ;    on  the 
other  hand,  and  in  a  much  more  dangerous  manner,  by  the 
changes  which  had  taken  place  in  the  character,  in  the  tempera- 
ment and  in  the  general  spirit  of  the  colonists.    The  outlook  was 
dark  indeed,  when  the  Zionist  Organisation  appeared  on  the 

This  Organisation,  founded  in  1897  by  Theodor  Herzl,  estab- 
lished in  1908  the  farm  of  Kinnereth  on  the  shores  of  Lake 
Tiberias.  In  1909  the  planting  of  a  great  forest  of  olive-trees  on 
lands  bought  by  the  Jewish  National  Fund,  at  Hulda,  was 
undertaken,  and  during  the  same  year  the  colony  of  Daganiah 

was  founded  at  the  point  where  the  Jordan  flows  out  of  Lake 
Tiberias.  In  1910  a  company  of  Zionist  capitalists  of  Moscow 
bought  a  large  site  at  Medjdel  (the  ancient  Magdala),  on  th~ 
western  shore  of  Lake  Tiberias,  in  order  to  attempt  the  culti- 
vation of  cotton  and  lucerne  ;  at  Ben-Shamen  the  Jewish 
National  Fund  began  to  plant  another  forest  of  olive-trees, 
while  the  Russian  Society  of  the  "  Lovers  of  Zion  "  founded 
the  little  labourers'  settlement  of  Ain-Ganim  near  the  great 
colony  of  Petach-Tikwah  ;  and  during  the  same  year,  1910, 
the  Palestine  Land  Development  Company,  Ltd.,  founded  with 
the  support  of  the  Jewish  National  Fund,  began  its  operations 
of  purchase  and  allotment  of  lands  for  re-sale  to  private  indi- 
viduals. In  1911  was  established  the  colony  of  Merchavyah,  on 
the  estates  of  which  a  society,  specially  constituted  with  this 
object,  started  an  interesting  experiment  in  co-operative 
colonisation  by  labourers.  In  1912  the  Palestine  Land  De- 
velopment Company  and  the  Jewish  Colonisation  Association 
entered  into  an  agreement  under  which  they  have  jointly  made 
several  important  purchases  of  land,  which  have  not  yet  had 
time  to  be  settled.  And  while  all  these  new  settlements  were 
being  formed,  most  of  the  old  colonies  were  enlarged  by  fresh 
acquisitions  of  territory  in  their  immediate  neighbour- 

The  Zionist  Organisation  is  responsible  for  the  appearance 
of  two  factors  of  considerable  bearing  on  the  economic  develop- 
ment of  Palestine  :  first,  the  creation  of  the  Jewish  bank,  the 
Anglo-Palestine  Company,  Ltd.  ;  and,  secondly,  the  beginning 
of  the  movement  for  repatriating  in  Palestine  the  Yemenite 
Jews  of  Southern  Arabia. 

A  few  years  after  the  foundation  of  the  Anglo-Palestine 
Company  the  Palestine  Office  of  the  Zionist  Organisation  was 
opened  at  Jaffa.  Originally  this  office  was  intended  to  act 
merely  as  the  agent  of  the  Zionist  Executive  for  the  supervision 
of  the  organisation's  colonisation  work  in  Palestine.  In 
practice,  however,  the  Palestine  Office  was  led  to  assume  re- 
sponsibility for  many  different  activities,  some  of  which  in 
other  countries  are  fulfilled  by  the  Government.  The  Palestine 
Office,  indeed,  soon  acquired  great  prestige  both  with  the 
colonists  and  with  the  Ottoman  Government.  The  colonists 
became  accustomed  to  invoke  "its  intervention  whenever  they 
had  an  important  matter  to  settle  with  the  local  or  the  central 
government  authorities  ;  and  as  a  result  of  the  repeated  inter- 
vention of  the  Palestine  Office  on  behalf  of  the  colonists  the 
authorities  on  their  side  have  come  to  consider  the  head  of  the 
Office  as  the  de  facto  representative  of  the  Jewish  population  of 
the  country.  Considering  that  the  whole  inner  administration 
of  the  Jewish  colonies  and  the  relations  of  the  colonies  with  each 
other  are  conducted  on  the  lines  of  the  most  complete  local 


autonomy,  it  is  easy  to  understand  the  great  importance  of  the 
political  role  which  the  Palestine  Office  of  the  Zionist  Organisa- 
tion has  come  to  play.  The  question  whether  the  Zionist 
Organisation  represents  the  Jewish  masses  at  large  exists  to-day 
only  in  the  countries  of  the  Galuth  ;  in  Palestine  this  question 
has  long  since  been  settled,  the  official  representatives  of  the 
Zionist  Organisation  having  become,  by  tacit  consent  of  the 
Jews  and  of  the  Government,  the  "  porte-parole,"  or  spokesmen, 
of  Palestinian  Jewry  as  a  whole. 

The  Palestine  Office  supervises  also  the  colonising  activity 
of  the  Jewish  National  Fund  and  the  Palestine  Land  Develop- 
ment Company.  It  is  unnecessary  to  dwell  upon  the  many-sided 
activities  of  these  two  institutions.  From  the  purely  technical 
point  of  view  some  part  of  their  work  calls  for  criticism  ;  but 
from  the  national  point  of  view  they  have  rendered  invaluable 
services.  The  farms  and  plantations  which  they  have  created 
in  Judaea,  in  Samaria  and  in  Galilee  have  become  centres  of  the 
revival,  where  the  most  ardent  nationalist  spirit  is  fostered. 
That  spirit  has  communicated  itself  to  the  younger  generation  in 
the  surrounding  colonies,  and  from  the  children  it  has  passed 
on  to  their  parents,  with  the  result  that  within  a  few  years 
the  whole  atmosphere  of  the  old  colonies  has  undergone  a 
fundamental  change.  The  flame  of  national  enthusiasm 
has  been  revived,  scepticism  has  given  place  to  hope  and 
confidence  in  the  future  ;  the  colonists  have  realised  that  they 
are  no  more  the  sad  survivors  of  a  premature  and  unhappy 
colonising  experiment,  but  that  they  have  become  the  pioneers, 
the  vanguard  of  a  Avorld  movement  which  has  waited  for  its 
time,  but  which  is  now  on  the  way,  slowly  but  surely  and 
irresistibly,  to  Zion.  The  consciousness  that  all  the  hopes 
of  this  world  movement  centre  around  that  first  nucleus  of 
national  life  represented  by  our  colonies  in  Palestine  has 
penetrated  the  colonists  with  a  deep  sense  of  responsibility,  and 
has  restored  to  them  the  confidence  in  themselves  which  they 
had  lost  under  the  well-meant  tutelage  of  their  philanthropic 
protectors.  It  would  take  us  too  far  to  depict  in  detail  how 
deep  this  change  has  gone  and  what  important  practical 
consequences  it  has  already  begotten  •  it  is  only  necessary  to 
mention  the  splendid  revival  of  the  Hebrew  language  in 
Palestine  and  the  strong  attitude  which  the  colonists  took  up 
and  the  pecuniary  sacrifices  that  they  made  in  defence  of 
Hebrew  when,  a  few  years  ago,  the  German  Aid  Society  for 
Jews  (Hilfsverein)  attempted  to  interfere  with  the  normal 
course  of  the  hebraisation  of  our  schools.  As  to  the  staying 
qualities  of  the  colonists,  their  power  to  resist  difficulties, 
their  will  and  determination  to  cleave  to  the  land  of  our 
fathers  at  any  price,  these  are  qualities  which  are  to-day 
beyond  dispute.     If  proof  were  required,  no  argument  could 

be  more  eloquent  than  the  fact  that  when  Turkey  entered 
the  Avar  in  October,  1914,  and  the  Turkish  authorities  gave 
the  Jews  belonging  to  enemy  nations  the  option  of  becoming 
Ottoman  subjects  or  leaving  the  country,  many  Jewish  in- 
habitants of  the  towns  and  agricultural  labourers  left  the 
country,  but  not  one  colonist. 

The  spirit  of  which  such  facts  are  but  isolated  expressions 
has  not  remained  confined  to  the  colonists  and  workmen, 
but  has  pervaded  all  classes  of  Palestinian  Jewry  ;  and  its 
intensity  is  such  that  willingly  or  unwillingly  the  non-Zionist 
institutions  in  the  country,  if  they  wanted  their  work  to  be 
successful,  have  had  to  adapt  themselves  to  the  spirit  of  the 
times.  Not  only  in  their  methods  of  work,  but  in  the  very 
spirit  in  which  their  institutions  are  conducted,  they  have  had 
to  conform  to  the  new  demands.  Many  illustrations  of  this 
evolution  might  be  given.  The  most  remarkable,  perhaps, 
is  that  furnished  by  the  Agricultural  School  of  the  Alliance 
Israelite  at  Mikveh  Israel.  The  writer  still  remembers  how,  in 
1911,  the  language  of  instruction  there  was  French,  while  as 
to  the  general  tendency  of  the  school  the  then  director  (who, 
by-the-by,  was  not  an  agriculturist)  said  himself :  '  The 
object  of  our  school  is  to  give  the  boys  a  practical  education 
which  will  enable  them  to  find  a  living  in  North.  America  or 
in  the  Argentine."  In  1914,  a  few  months  before  the  outbreak 
of  war,  and  shortly  after  Baron  Rothschild's  visit  to  Palestine, 
a  new  director  was  appointed  in  the  person  of  a  well-known 
Palestinian  Zionist,  who  is  also  a  capable  scientifically  trained 
agriculturist,  and  he  undertook  without  delay  the  systematic 
hebraisation  of  the  school.  Those  who  knew  the  previous 
attitude  of  the  Alliance  Israelite  in  these  matters  will  be  able 
to  appreciate  at  its  full  value  the  importance  of  the  change 
that  has  taken  place  in  the  moral  condition  of  our  Palestinian 

At  the  same  time  we  have  a  most  interesting  phenomenon 
to  note  :  whereas  the  essentially  philanthropic  system  of 
colonisation  practised  by  Baron  Edmund  de  Rothschild  and 
the  J.C.A.  had  only  brought  to  Palestine  immigrants  who 
possessed  little  or  no  means,  the  expansion  of  the  Zionist 
movement  led  to  the  influx  into  Palestine  of  a  large  number 
of  middle-class  Jews  from  all  parts  of  the  world,  resolved  to 
find  in  the  country  an  outlet  for  their  energies  and  for  the  small 
or  moderate  capital  which  they  brought  with  them.  It  may 
readily  be  imagined  how  powerful  a  factor  for  progress,  in  a 
country  not  yet  industrially  or  commercially  developed,  was 
the  arrival  of  such  a  population,  determined  to  settle  and 
support  itself  there  at  all  costs  and  at  its  own  risk. 

The  above  brief  historical  sketch  will  show  that  the  Jewish 
colonisation  of  Palestine  is  not  the  realisation  of  any  plan 

A  3 


or  system  decided  upon  beforehand  and  uniformly  applied 
everywhere  ;  on  the  contrary,  what  the  Jews  have  so  far 
created  in  Palestine  represents  the  result  of  a  host  of  inde- 
pendent efforts,  inspired  by  different  and  sometimes  con- 
tradictory tendencies.  Yet  experience  and  local  conditions 
have  succeeded  in  introducing  into  these  efforts  a  certain 
order  and  uniformity,  thus  leading  to  an  intelligent  collabora- 
tion, conscious  of  the  identity  of  the  aim  in  view.  What 
have  been  the  results  of  these  multifarious  efforts  ?  What 
has  been  the  influence  of  the  Jews  on  the  development  of 
Palestine  during  the  last  few  decades  ?  WThat  part  do  they 
play  to-day  in  the  economic  activity  of  the  country  ? 

In  order  to  appreciate  at  its  right  value  the  work  which 
the  Jews  have  done  in  Palestine,  it  is  necessary  to  bear  in 
mind  that  the  new  Jewish  settlement  in  that  country  offers 
certain  peculiar  features  which  make  it  difficult,  if  not  im- 
possible, for  the  student  to  classify  it  under  any  of  the  hitherto 
known  and  described  types  of  colonisation.  A  people  of 
shepherds  and  farmers  driven  from  its  home  and  scattered 
throughout  the  world,  deprived  by  laws  or  by  circumstances 
of  the  possibility  of  acquiring  land  and  of  following  agricultural 
pursuits,  has  been  forced,  in  order  to  preserve  itself,  to  turn 
to  commerce  and  to  become  a  people  of  traders  and  of  middle- 
men. Habit  is  second  nature,  especially  with  Semites,  whose 
power  of  adaptation  to  varying  external  conditions  probably 
exceeds  that  of  any  other  race  ;  and  eighteen  centuries  of 
remoteness  from  the  land  have  wrought  deep-seated  changes 
in  the  psychology  of  the  Jewish  people.  The  Jew  has  become 
estranged  from  the  soil  and  from  all  that  relates  to  it.  Not 
only  has  he  lost  the  simple  tastes  and  ideals  of  the  husband- 
man, but  the  equability  of  mind  and  the  conservatism  of  the 
agriculturist — a  conservatism  which  is  valuable  so  long  as  it 
is  moderate — have  given  place  in  the  Jew  to  a  restiveness, 
an  impulsiveness,  a  certain  spirit  of  speculation  and  adventure, 
which  are  incompatible  with  successful  agricultural  work. 
Here  lie  the  deeper  reasons  of  the  failure  of  the  various  colonising 
experiments  that  have  been  made  with  Jews  in  the  Argentine, 
in  Brazil,  and  in  the  United  States  of  America. 

It  is  therefore  especially  interesting  to  note  that  not  only 
has  the  Jewish  colonising  activity  in  Palestine  proved  a  success, 
but  that  in  that  country  it  is'  precisely  in  agriculture  more 
than  in  any  other  field  of  activity  that  the  Jews  have  shown 
themselves  important  factors  of  progress.  In  order  to  convince 
oneself  of  this  it  is  enough  to  compare  the  Arab  plantations 
with  those  of  the  Jews.  In  a  country  where  fodder,  and, 
in  consequence,  cattle  and  manure,  are  scanty,  the  Arabs 
for  centuries  have  practised  a  system  of  tillage  which  has 
seriously  impoverished  the  soil ;    moreover,  the  yield  of  their 


crops   is   very   meagre.     Thanks   to   a   wise   use   of  chemical 
manure  and   the  cultivation  of  green  manures,   destined  to 
restore  to  the  land  the  fertilising  elements  of  which  the  crops 
have  robbed  it,   the  Jews  have  succeeded  in  increasing  the 
productive  qualities  of  the  soil  to  a  marked  degree ;  while,  at 
the    same    time,    the    employment    of    adequate    machinery 
has  made  possible  modern  methods  of  cultivation,   and  has 
enabled  them  to  raise  the  produce  of  various  crops  to  quite 
remarkable  proportions.     They  have  not  yet  achieved  equal 
successes   in   all  branches   of  agricultural   work  ;    the  reason 
is  that  they  have  not  yet  had  sufficient  practice  in  certain 
of  them.     But   in  those  agricultural  undertakings   in   which 
they  have  had  at  least  ten  or  fifteen  years'  practice,   they 
have  shown  themselves  equal  to  the  most  progressive  farmers 
of  advanced  agricultural  countries.     The  value  of  their  work 
can  best  be  judged  by  comparing  the  yields  of  their  crops  with 
the  yields  of  the  crops  of  the  surrounding  Arab  inhabitants. 
With  the  Arabs  the  cereals  (wheat  and  barley)  yield  an  average 
gross  produce  [of   about  £l   pe*  acre;   in  the  better    Jewish 
colonies,  the  fields  yield  up  to  £2  and  £3  and  more.     In  Arab 
orange-groves  350  cases  of    oranges  per  acre  are  considered 
a  very  good  average  crop  ;    Jewish  orange-groves,  as  a  rule, 
yield  about  40  to  50  per  cent,  more,  and  in  the  last  year  before 
the  war  a  yield  of  no  less  than  757  cases — that  is,  more  than 
double   the   Arab   yield — was   obtained.     Arab   vineyards   do 
not  yield,  as  a  rule,  more  than  £6  to  £7  value  of  gross  produce 
per  acre  ;    the  Jewish  vine-planters  obtain  an  average  of  £12 
to  £13.     The  milch  cows  of  the  fellaheen  give  an  average  of 
130  to  160  gallons  of  milk  per  annum  ;     those  of  the  Jewish 
colonies   at    Benshemen,    Ekron,    and    Artuf   give   about  440 
gallons  and  more.    These  figures  are  an  eloquent  testimony  to  the 
skill  of  the  Jewish  colonist.      No  doubt  success  or  failure  of 
the    crops    is   in  close    dependence  on  external  conditions — 
such  as  the  soil,  the  climate,  the  water  supply.     But  these 
conditions  are  the  same  for  the  Arabs  as  for  the  Jews.     We 
must,  therefore,  look  to  other  factors  for  the  explanation  of 
the  higher  yields  obtained  by  the  Jewish  colonists  ;    and  we 
may  safely  conclude  that  these  factors  must  be  sought  in  the 
character    of   the    Jews    themselves.     Personally,    the    writer 
does  not  hesitate  to  ascribe  the  good  results  obtained  to  three 
qualities  which  are  developed  to  a  high  degree  in  most  of  the 
colonists,  namely,  their  manual  skill,  their  businesslike  methods, 
and   their   progressive   (one   might   even   say   their   scientific) 
spirit.     As  a  proof  of  the  superior  manual  skill  of  the  Jewish 
agricultural  labourers,  it  may  be  mentioned  that,  in  the  course 
of   the    last    few    years,    Arab    landowners    have    repeatedly 
entrusted  Jewish  labourers  with  the  creation  of  new  plantations, 
and  especially  with  the  execution  of  such  delicate  work  as 

A  4 


the  pruning  and  grafting  of  their  fruit-trees.  Of  the  business- 
like methods  of  the  settlers  no  better  proof  is  required  than 
the  fact  that  on  the  one  hand  the  importation  of  chemical 
fertilisers,  of  wood  for  packing-cases,  of  paper  for  wrapping 
oranges  and  lemons,  and  of  various  other  kinds  of  raw  materials, 
and  on  the  other  hand  the  exportation  of  all  the  important 
agricultural  products  (wine,  oranges,  almonds)  are  carried 
on  by  the  colonists  themselves  by  means  of  co-operative  societies 
specially  created  for  the  purpose  and  represented  on  the  chief 
European  markets  by  their  own  agents  chosen  from  amongst 
the  members.  But  most  of  the  success  of  the  colonists  is  due 
probably  to  their  typically  Jewish  perspicacity,  which  enables 
them  to  grasp  at  once  the  cardinal  points  of  a  problem,  and  to 
their  progressive  spirit,  which  impels  them  not  to  content 
themselves  with  half-measures,  but  to  go  straight  for  such 
methods  as  will  promise  them  a  radical  solution  of  the  particular 
difficulty  with  Avhich  they  are  confronted. 

Practical  illustrations  of  this  progressive  and  scientific 
spirit  are  met  with  in  Palestine  at  every  step.  In  place  of 
the  primitive  Arab  chain-pumps,  which  are  set  in  motion  by 
a  camel  or  a  mule  that  walks  round  and  round  with  its  eyes 
blindfolded,  the  Jews  have  introduced  modern  pumps,  worked 
by  oil  or  gas  motors,  for  the  irrigation  of  their  orange  and 
lemon  groves,  and  on  the  banks  of  the  River  Audja,  not  far 
from  the  colony  of  Petach-Tikwah,  a  Jewish  company,  in 
1913,  instituted  great  waterworks,  which,  on  payment  of  a 
certain  tax  per  dunam  (the  Arab  unit  of  land-measurement), 
furnish  the  surrounding  planters  with  the  water  necessary  to 
irrigate  their  soil. 

In  order  to  remove  the  stagnant  pools  which  breed  fevers, 
the  Jews  in  various  places  have  planted  clusters,  great  and 
small,  of  eucalyptus  trees,  which  have  done  much  to  make 
the  country  more  salubrious,  and  at  the  same  time  supply 
timber  that  may  be  turned  to  divers  uses. 

The  struggle  against  the  foes  and  parasites  of  their  crops 
has  received  constant  attention  from  the  Jewish  settlers, 
and  in  this  struggle  they  are  assisted  by  the  various  scientific 
institutions  of  the  country.  The  Jewish  Health  Bureau  of 
Jerusalem  supplies  them  with  the  microbe  cultures  necessary 
for  the  destruction  of  the  rats  which  ravage  the  cereal  crops  ; 
and  the  Jewish  Agricultural  Experiment  Station  at  Zichron- 
Jacob,  as  well  as  the  technical  staff  of  the  Zionist  Organisation's 
Palestine  Office,  furnishes  inquirers  with  all  instructions  as 
to  the  means  of  combating  the  insects  that  do  damage  to 

In  order  ,to  encourage  cattle-breeding,  the  Jewish  bank, 
the  Anglo-Palestine  Company,  grants  credits  for  the  purchase 
of  dairy  cattle  on  the  joint  guarantee  of  a  certain  number  of 


settlers  ;  while  the  Jewish  National  Fund,  on  its  farm  oi 
Ben-Shamen,  gives  demonstrations  in  dairy-work  and  in  the 
cultivation  of  fodder.  A  model  poultry-farm  has  also  been 
established  at  Ben-Shamen.  to  instruct  the  colonists  in  the 
best  methods  of  rearing-  poultry. 

The  question  of  theoretical  and  practical  instruction  in 
agriculture,  both  for  children  and  for  the  settlers  themselves, 
has  always  received  attention  from  the  various  Jewish  organisa- 
tions  in  Palestine.  The  agricultural  school  of  Mikweh-Israel 
is  engaged  in  the  technical  preparation  cf  young  people  ; 
the  Palestine  Office  of  the  Zionist  Organisation  publishes  a 
monthly  agricultural  journal,  and  keeps  a  travelling  lecturer, 
who  goes  round  the  various  colonies  giving  lectures  and  practical 
demonstrations  ;  the  Jewish  Agricultural  Experiment  Station 
has  instituted  holiday  lectures  for  teachers  in  the  colony-schools. 
In  1912  the  colonists,  partly  subsidised  by  the  J.C.A.,  sent  a 
delegate,  a  graduate  of  a  horticultural  school,  to  the  United 
States  in  order  to  study  the  best  agricultural  methods  practised 
in  California.  Texas,  and  Florida.  In  1914  there  was  founded 
at  Mikweh-Israel  the  Palestinian  Agricultural  Society,  which 
includes  among  its  members  a  fair  number  of  agronomists, 
aoTiculturists.  and  horticulturists  who  are  graduates  of  various 
European  colleges,  and  also  the  best  practical  farmers  of  the 
country.  The  object  of  this  society  is  to  improve  agriculture 
and  kindred  industries. 

But* the  most  important  event  for  Palestinian  agriculture 
has  undoubtedly  been  the  creation  of  the  Jewish  Agricultural 
Experiment  Station,  founded  and  maintained  by  the  muni- 
ficence of  a  group  of  American  Jews,  with  the  main  object  of 
introducing  and  improving  the  cultivation  of  varieties  of 
cereals  and  other  plants  which  are  not  very  exacting  and 
have  an  ample  power  of  resisting  bad  weather,  disease,  and 
various  parasites.  The  offices  and  the  laboratories  of  the 
station  are  situated  in  the  colonv  of  Zichron-  Jacob ;  its  fields 
for  experiments  and  demonstration  are  at  Atlit,  on  an  estate 
of  112  acres  given  by  the  Jewish  National  Fund.  The  Jewish 
Agricultural  Experiment  Station  commenced  its  labours  in 
the  summer  of  1910.  Among  the  results  of  its  still  brief 
career  we  quote  below  a  few,  which  will  illustrate  the  great 
significance  of  this  institution  for  the  economic  development 
of  Palestine  and  for  the  study  of  its  agrolooical  conditions. 

The  Jewish  Agricultural  Experiment  Station  has  succeeded  in  isolat- 
ing, and  is  in  the  act  of  fixing,  a  new  form  of  sesame,  the  yield  of  which . 
other  things  being  equal,  is  more  than  double  that  of  sesame  ordinarily 
grown  in  the  country.  It  has  also  created  five  species  of  wheat  and 
barley,  which  show  an  amazing  power  of  resistance  to  the  sirocco, 
and  some  species  of  wheat,  peculiarly  rich  in  gluten  and  accordingly 
lending  themselves  specially  to  the  manufacture  of  macaroni. 

Every  year,  from  the  end  of  July  to  the  end  of  October,  Egypt 
imports  about  £80,000  worth  of  table  grapes,  which  come  exclusively 


from  Smyrna  and  Cyprus.  The  Experiment  Station  has  succeeded  in 
acclimatising  in  Palestine  a  variety  of  table  grape  ripening  three  weeks 
earlier  than  the  precocious  varieties  of  the  region,  and  accordingly 
capable  of  appearing  three  weeks  earlier  on  the  Egyptian  market. 

The  Experiment  Station  has  supplied  valuable  information  as  to 
the  best  varieties  of  olives  for  planting  purposes,  showing,  by  means 
of  numerous  analyses  made  in  its  laboratories,  that  the  olives  of  Pales- 
tine, especially  those  of  Galilee,  are  superior  to  foreign  olives,  both  in 
the  average  weight  of  the  fruit  and  in  quantity  of  oil. 

The  Experiment  Station  has  undertaken  the  cultivation  and  improve- 
ment of  various  species  of  indigenous  spineless  cactus,  which  may 
supply  valuable  fodder  for  cattle.  It  has  also  discovered  a  new  method 
of  growing  the  mulberry-tree,  thanks  to  which  this  tree  is  in  leaf  three 
weeks  before  the  normal  time — a  phenomenon  of  great  importance  for 
the  rearing  of  silkworms  and  for  the  feeding  of  cattle. 

The  Experiment  Station  cultivates  more  than  forty  varieties  of 
plants  designed  to  keep  the  dunes  from  shifting  (this  shifting  constitutes 
one  of  the  main  obstacles  to  agriculture  along  the  Mediterranean  coast), 
and  rapidly  to  provide  efficient  shelter  against  the  salty  winds  from 
the  sea.  It  has  also  introduced  more  than  forty  species  of  eucalyptus, 
several  of  which  are  specially  adapted  to  the  chalky  soils  which  form 
the  greater  part  of  the  cultivable  land  of  the  country. 

As  regards  geology,  the  Experiment  Station  has  brought  together 
the  most  complete  collection  which  exists  for  Palestine.  Its  investiga- 
tions into  the  tertiary  strata  have  altered  the  geological  map  of  Pales- 
tine, and  have  profoundly  modified  previous  theories  as  to  the  structure 
of  the  soil. 

The  collection  of  fresh- water  molluscs  is  one  of  the  richest  in  the 
world.  The  cryptogamic  and  phanerogamic  herbaria  each  contains 
nearly  30,000  species  ;  the  latter,  in  particular,  contains  a  fairly  large 
number  of  hitherto  unknown  plants. 

While  so  much  attention  has  been  paid  to  the  development 
of  the  technical  side  of  agriculture,  the  colonists  have  not 
neglected  the  business  organisation  of  the  sale  of  their  pro- 
ducts. We  have  already  mentioned  that  they  have  formed 
great  co-operative  societies  for  the  export  and  sale  of  the 
products  of  their  plantations. 

No  argument  can  show  in  more  striking  fashion  the  economic 
importance  of  the  Jewish  agricultural  colonisation  of  Palestine 
than  the  following  statistics  : 

(a)  Thirty  per  cent,  of  all  the  oranges  and  90  per  cent,  of  the  wines 
which  leave  Palestine  by  the  port  of  Jaffa  are  supplied  by  the  neigh- 
bouring Jewish  colonies,  and  oranges  and  wine  by  themselves  represent 
nearly  half  the  value  of  the  total  exports  from  Jaffa.  On  the  other 
hand,  most  of  the  Jewish  plantations  are  still  in  their  infancy,  and  will 
not  become  fully  productive  for  some  years. 

(b)  In  1890  an  acre  of  irrigable  land  in  the  colony  of  Petach-Tikwah 
cost  about  £3  12s.  ;  to-day  such  land  would  not  cost  less  than  £36  per  acre. 

(c)  About  1880  the  lands  which  form  this  same  colony  were  unculti- 
vated, and  only  brought  in  a  few  pounds  in  revenue  to  the  State  ;  in 
1912  the  value  of  the  annual  production  in  the  colony  was  £36,000, 
and  the  Government  drew  a  revenue  of  £3,400  from  part  of  the  land 
(since  a  great  deal  is  not  yet  cultivated,  or  has  been  planted  quite  re- 
cently and  does  not  yet  yield  any  produce). 

(d)  In  1880  the  value  of  the  colony  was  less  than  £1,200  ;  to-day 
it  represents  a  value  of  at  least  £600,000,  and  its  population  numbers 
3,000  souls. 


Industry  in  Palestine  can  as  yet  show  but  a  rudimentary 
development.  The  main  cause  of  this  is  the  inland  duties, 
which  until  3  910  were  levied  on  goods  conveyed  from  one 
province  to  another.  If  we  remember  that  these  inland 
duties  once  rose  as  high  as  S  per  cent.,  and,  on  the  other  hand, 
that  the  only  duty  on  imported  goods  is  one  of  11  per  cent., 
we  can  realise  that  conditions  have  been  very  unfavourable 
to  the  creation  of  new  industries  in  the  country  or  for  the 
improvement  of  those  already  existing.  Nevertheless,  the 
Jews  have  instituted  several  mechanical  workshops  of  some 
importance  in  Palestine ;  they  have  established  some  modern 
oilworks.  which,  by  improved  chemical  processes,  succeed 
in  extracting  as  much  as  10  per  cent,  of  oil  from  the  residues 
left  by  the  primitive  Arab  oilworks.  The  production  of  wine 
and  brandy  is  one  of  the  most  important  branches  of  their 
activity ;  and  for  the  requirements  of  their  great  wine-cellars 
they  have  created  the  coopering  industry  in  Palestine.  They 
have  commenced,  on  a  small  scale,  the  distilling  of  essential 
oils — in  particular,  essence  of  geranium  and  thyme.  The 
Jews  do  more  architectural  work  than  any  other  section  of  the 
inhabitants ;  a  large  number  of  them  are  engaged  in  the 
building  industry,  and,  in  particular,  the  manufacture  of 
cement-stones  is  almost  entirely  in  their  hands. 

But  it  is  in  efforts  for  the  creation  and  extension  of  home 
industries  that  the  Jews  have  shown  their  greatest  activity. 
In  their  school  of  arts  and  crafts  known  as  ;  Bezalel,"  they 
have  instructed  500  pupils  in  the  weaving  of  Oriental  carpets. 
in  the  inlaying  of  copper  with  silver — an  art  much  admired 
in  the  East,  in  the  manufacture  of  silver  filigree  ware,  in 
ivory-carving,  &c.  In  their  mother-of-pearl  workshop  they 
teach  the  manufacture  of  buttons  and  of  various  devotional 
objects.  At  Jerusalem  they  have  established  a  professional 
school  comprising  workshops  for  carpentry,  machinery,  iron- 
smelting,  and  weaving,  as  well  as  a  smithy  and  a  dye-shop. 
Among  the  poor  families  of  the  same  town  they  have  distributed 
a  large  number  of  knitting-machines,  the  cost  of  which  is  repay- 
able by  small  annual  instalments.  In  all  the  important  towns 
schools  for  o-irls  and  women  have  been  founded  to  instruct 
them  in  the  manufacture  of  a  special  kind  of  Oriental  lace. 

The  foreign  trade  of  Jaffa  amounts  to  nearly  40  per  cent, 
of  the  entire  trade  of  Palestine.  This  trade,  which  in  1904 
was  valued  at  £760,000,  had  in  1912  already  reached  the 
figure  of  £2,080,000,*  the  imports  being  markedly  superior  to 
the  exports.  If  we  merely  take  the  oranges  and  wines  exported 
by  the  Jewish  settlements,  we  shall  find  that  they  alone  repre 
sent  nearly  25  per  cent,  of  the  total  exports  from  Jaffa.  If, 
again,  we  remember  that  the  greater  part  of  the  imports  is  received 

*  C.  Nawratzki:  '"Die  Judische  Kolonisation  Palastinas." 


by  Jewish  firms,  we  can  form  a  fair  idea  of  the  important  part 
played  by  the  Jewish  population  in  the  trade  of  Palestine. 

This   importance   is   strikingly   apparent   in   the   part   played 
throughout  the  country  by  the  Anglo-Palestine  Company. 

Founded  in  1903,  this  bank  began  its  operations  in  Palestine  the 
same  year.  The  original  capital  was  £39,000  ;  it  has  been  raised  to 
£100,000.  The  Anglo-Palestine  Company  has  its  head  office  in  Jaffa, 
with  branches  at  Jerusalem,  Haifa,  Hebron,  Beyrout,  Safed,  Tiberias, 
and  Gaza,  and  agencies  in  the  principal  Jewish  colonies. 

Starting  from  the  principle  that  the  credit  which  may  be  allowed  to 
a  borrower  is  not  always  determined  by  the  object  which  serves  as  the 
basis  of  credit,  but  often — and  this  is  particularly  the  case  in  the  East— 
by  the  debt-collecting  ability  which  the  lender  can  show  when  payment 
falls  due,  the  Anglo-Palestine  Company  has  succeeded  in  organising  in 
Palestine  a  modern  system  of  credit.  It  has  introduced  short-term  credits 
against  the  deposit,  as  security,  of  goods  or  bills  of  exchange.  In  order 
to  facilitate  the  granting  of  credit  to  farmers,  labourers,  and  small 
tradesmen,  the  Bank  has  instigated  the  formation  of  co-operative  credit 
societies,  based  on  the  joint  guarantee  of  the  members.  At  the  end  of 
1913  there  existed  fifty-two  of  these  co-operative  societies,  containing 
2,289  members  in  all,  and  possessing  at  the  Anglo-Palestine  Bank 
security  deposits  amounting  to  upwards  of  £4,000. 

To  replace  the  system  of  credit  on  mortgage,  which  practically  does 
not  exist  in  Turkey,  the  Anglo-Palestine  Company  grants  long-term 
credits,  the  redemption  of  which  is  guaranteed  by  the  crop  where 
plantations  are  concerned,  or  by  rent  where  houses  are  in  question. 

The  deposits  received  by  the  Bank  are  very  considerable,  and  their 
importance  is  rapidly  increasing.  This  is  the  best  proof  of  the  great 
confidence  with  the  Anglo-Palestine  Company  enjoys,  in  spite  of  the  fact 
that  the  4  per  cent,  interest  which  it  pays  for  these  deposits  is  com- 
paratively small  for  Eastern  conditions.  The  business  transacted  shows 
a  slow  but  steady  advance,  although  for  the  last  few  years,  owing  to 
various  political  complications,  the  general  economic  situation  has  not 
been  very  favourable.  In  1910  the  turnover  was  £5,840,000,  and  since 
then  the  figures  have  become  even  larger. 

From  what  was  said  at  the  outset  of  these  remarks  on  the 
trade  of  Palestine  it  will  be  seen  that  the  extraordinary  eco- 
nomic progress  of  Jaffa  corresponds  almost  exact]}-  with  the 
period  when  the  Jews  began  to  interest  themselves  more 
actively  in  Palestinian  economy,  and,  above  all,  when  the 
Zionist  Organisation,  by  founding  the  Anglo-Palestine  Com- 
pany, began  its  operations  in  the  country.  It  would  be  too 
much  to  say  that  the  credit  for  this  great  economic  progress 
belongs  exclusively  to  the  Jews,  but  it  is  probable  that  they 
have  been  the  most  important  factor.  An  impartial  eye- 
witness,  the  British  Vice-Consul,   in  his  report  of  1900,   says  : 

'  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  establishment  of  the  Jewish 
colonies  in  Palestine  has  brought  about  a  great  change  in  the 
aspect  of  the  country,  and  an  example  has  been  set  before  the 
native  rural  population  of  the  manner  in  which  agricultural 
operations  are  conducted  on  modern  and  scientific  principles." 
Again,  in  his  report  of  1904.  the  Acting  Vice-Consul  records  : 

'  There  has    been    a    marked    increase    in    the    population    of 


Jaffa,  specially  in  the  Jewish  element,  which  is  spreading  all 
over  Palestine,  and  which  represents  to-day  the  most  enter- 
prising part  of  the  population." 

It  is  a  very  significant  fact  that  the  immigration  of  the 
Jews  into  Palestine,  with  the  sole  exception  of  that  of  the 
Yemenites,  represents  an  entirely  spontaneous  movement. 
Their  return  to  the  land  of  their  ancestors  is  not  incited  by 
any  propaganda ;  no  one  pays  their  travelling  expenses.  It 
is  on  their  own  initiative  and  at  their  own  expense  and  risk 
that  the  Jews  return  to  Zion ;  nor  do  the  various  Jewish 
organisations  begin  to  interest  themselves  in  them  until  they 
have  set  foot  on  Palestinian  soil.  Thus  the  field  of  activity 
for  these  organisations  is  strictly  confined  to  Palestine  itself, 
no  share  of  their  attention  or  of  their  financial  means  being 
distracted  by  outside  work.  On  the  other  hand,  by  a  sort 
of  tacit  agreement,  each  of  the  organisations  has  set  apart 
for  itself  a  certain  group  of  activities  in  which  it  has  specialised, 
and  in  the  execution  of  which  it  has  reached  a  high  degree 
of  perfection.  It  is  thanks  to  this  limitation  and  division 
of  labour  that,  while  disposing  only  of  modest  financial  resources, 
the  Jews  have  been  able  to  render  substantial  aid  both  to 
rural  and  to  urban  colonisation. 

Let  us  examine,  in  the  first  place,  what  has  been  done  for 
rural  colonisation. 

The  soil  of  Palestine,  for  the  most  part,  either  belongs  to 
big  landowners  or  is  the  joint  property  of  village  communities  ; 
it  is  therefore  difficult  to  purchase  such  small  lots  as  single 
families  need.  Moreover,  the  formalities  for  buying  and 
selling  land  are  somewhat  complicated.  In  order*  to  meet 
these  drawbacks  and  to  facilitate  the  purchase  of  small  hold- 
ings by  private  individuals,  the  Zionist  Organisation  has 
formed  a  special  instrument,  the  Palestine  Land  Development 
Company,  Limited.  This  society  purchases  on  its  own  account 
large  sites,  which  it  improves,  makes  healthy,  and  divides 
into  lots  to  be  resold  to  private  persons.  It  undertakes  similar 
operations  on  behalf  of  the  individuals  themselves ;  it  take> 
upon  itself  the  management  of  the  holdings  whose  owners 
live  abroad  ;  it  is  also  charged  with  administering  the  domains 
belonging  to  the  Jewish  National  Fund. 

As  regards  the  immigrants  or  inhabitants  who  wish  to 
devote  themselves  to  agriculture,  but,  though  not  entirely 
devoid  of  means,  do  not  possess  sufficient  capital  for  sotting 
up  a  farm,  two  cases  may  arise  : 

(a)  If  they  have  some  knowledge  of  agriculture,  and  can  prove  that 
they  possess  a  capital  of  about  £200,  the  Jewish  Colonisation  Association 
offers  to  sell  them  suitable  holdings  of  250  dimams  (about  50  acres)  each, 
and,  if  they  so  desire,  builds  them  a  dwelling-house  and  stalls  for  the 
cattle,  the  whole  outlay  being  repayable  in  forty  years  by  small  annual 

(6)  If  their  means  are  very  limited,  the  Odessa  Committee*  places  at 


their  disposal,  in  one  of  the  labourers'  colonies  which  it  has  founded  in 
the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the  great  agricultural  centres,  small 
holdings  for  which  repayment  can  be  made  in  a  certain  number  of  years. 
Such  a  holding  comprises,  besides  a  cottage  large  enough  to  house  a 
family,  10  dunams  (about  2.^  acres)  of  irrigable  land.  The  produce  of 
this  holding  assures  the  holder  a  certain  income,  but  the  cultivation 
allows  him  spare  time  in  which  either  he  or  his  wife  or  children  can  work 
as  labourers  in  the  big  neighbouring  colony. 

Finally,  colonists  already  settled  who  need  money,  either 
for  continuing  their  labours  or  for  enlarging  their  holdings, 
can  obtain  loans  from  the  Anglo-Palestine  Company.  But 
the  rate  of  interest  which  this  Bank  must  levy  for  its  loans 
is  a  burden  less  easily  borne  by  agriculture  than  by  commerce  : 
and  the  formation  of  a  special  agrarian  credit  in  Palestine- 
would  be  a  great  boon  for  agriculture  in  general  and  would 
give  a  powerful  impetus  to  Jewish  rural  colonisation  in 

The  question  of  manual  labour  in  these  rural  colonies  lias 
also  received  close  attention  from  the  principal  Jewish  organisa- 
tions. We  have  already  mentioned  the  labourers'  colonies 
founded  by  the  Odessa  Committee.  The  colonisation  society 
'  Esra  '  contributes  towards  lightening  the  existence  of  the 
Jewish  agricultural  labourer  by  building  cheap  and  comfortable 
homes  for  the  families  and  "  workmen's  homes  '  for  the 
bachelors.  But,  above  all,  the  Jewish  National  Fund  has 
taken  a  most  lively  interest  in  this  question.  In  various 
colonies  it  has  erected  c  homes  '  and  co-operative  kitchens 
for  the  bachelors,  and  cheap  houses  for  the  families  ;  it  has 
established  farm-schools  where  the  newly-arrived  labourers 
can  take  a  course  in  practical  farm-work  ;  it  has  also 
encouraged  and  regulated  the  return  to  Palestine  of  a  large 
number  of  the  Arabian  Jews  of  Yemen. 

For  a  long  time  the  Jews  of  Arabia  had  led  a  happy  and 
prosperous  life.  But  at  the  beginning  of  the  nineteenth 
century  the  Arabs  began  to  be  hostile  to  them,  and  in  the 
course  of  the  last  few  generations  persecutions  of  all  kinds 
have  reduced  their  community,  once  large  and  wealthy,  to  a 
tribe  numbering  some  few  tens  of  thousands.  Realising  the 
value  that  this  completely  Arabised  tribe,  accustomed  to 
the  climate  and  very  modest  in  its  requirements,  might  have 
lor  our  colonising  work,  the  Jewish  National  Fund  sent 
representatives  to  Yemen  in  order  to  preach  and  organise 
the  return  of  the  Jews  to  Zion.  The  Yemenites  responded 
to  the  appeal  with  great  enthusiasm  Within  the  last  ten 
years  six  thousand  of  them  have  returned  to  Palestine,  where 
the  Jewish  National  Fund  settles  them  in  the  immediate 
neighbourhood  of  the  great  Jewish  agricultural  centres,  each 

*  This  committee  is  to-day  the  official  representative  of  the  older  colonising  Association* 

of  various  Russian  towns. 


family  receiving  a  small  house  with  a  bit  of  good  agricultural 
soil.  The  whole  family  works  in  the  settlement — the  men 
as  labourers,  the  women  likewise  as  labourers  or  as  servants 
in  the  colonists'  houses,  and  even  the  children  do  light  work 
in  the  fields.  Their  various  earnings,  combined  with  their 
income  from  the  small  bit  of  land,  ensure  a  livelihood  for  the 
Yemenite's  family,  and  even  allow  him  to  save  enough  to 
repay  to  the  Jewish  National  Fund  the  net  cost  of  his  house 
and  "of  his  holding  ;  in  fact,  the  instinct  of  proprietorship 
is  well  developed  among  the  Yemenite  Jews,  and  a  large 
number  of  them  are  already  owners  of  their  little  houses. 
The  Yemenite  labourer  is  usually  intelligent  and  skilful  ; 
his  mind  is  very  malleable  and  open  to  progressive  ideas; 
his  physique,  sorely  tried  by  his  miserable  life  in  Yemen,  is 
visibly  improving  in  Palestine.  The  Jewish  National  Fund, 
by  its  efforts  to  settle  the  Yemenite  Jews  in  Palestine,  is 
accomplishing  a  task  of  capital  importance  for  the  agricultural 
development  of  the  country. 

We  must  also  note  the  beneficent  activities  of  the  Union 
of  Jewish  Women  for  Cultural  Work  in  Palestine,  which  has 
established  at  Kinnereth,  near  Lake  Tiberias,  on  lands  belonging 
to  the  Jewish  National  Fund,  a  domestic  agricultural  school 
where  Jewish  girls  are  taught  to  become  good  farmers'  wives. 

There  are  to-day  altogether  about  50  Jewish  colonies  with  a 
population  of  about  15,000  souls.  They  cover  a  total  area  of 
110,000  acres,  which  represents  nearly  2  per  cent,  of  the  entire 
area  of  Palestine,  but  S  to  14  per  cent.' of  its  cultivated  surface.* 
The  soil  of  Palestine  is,  in  fact,  very  badly  utilised  ;  only  a. 
very  small  part  is  under  cultivation.  Moreover,  east  of  the 
Jordan  there  are  immense  territories,  almost  uninhabited, 
the  soil  of  which  is  excellent  arable  land.  These  lands,  thanks 
to  the  Hedjaz  railway  which  crosses  them,  possess  very  good 
communications  with  Asia  Minor,  the  Mediterranean,  and  the 
Red  Sea.  This  country,  which  to-day  contains  merely  a  few 
hundred  thousand  inhabitants,  supported  ten  times  that 
number  during  the  first  centuries  of  the  Christian  era,  and 
was  then  considered  a  granary  of  the  Roman  Empire.  It 
only  needs  an  industrious  and  intelligent  population  in  order 
to  recover  its  pristine  fertility,  and  to  regain  its  old  economic 
importance.  The  same  observation  applies  to  the  southern 
part  of  Western  Palestine,  and  in  a  certain  measure  even  to 
the  mountainous  lands  which  constitute  the  central  part 
of  the  country.  Everywhere  there  is  still  room  for  a  dense 
population.  The  present  total  population  of  Palestine  is 
nearly  700,000  souls  ;  this  figure  represents  only  15  per  cent, 
(according  to  Reclus),  or  even  10  per  cent,  (according  to 
Colonel  Conder),  of  the  population  which  it  supported  in  the 

*  0  Nawratzki,  op.  cil. 


days  of  its  prosperity.  Careful  calculations  based  on  a  com- 
parison between  the  density  of  population  of  Palestine  and 
that  of  other  countries  with  similar  natural  economic  con- 
ditions, on  the  area  of  available  agricultural  lands,  and  on 
an  estimate  of  the  total  quantities  of  foodstuffs  and  raw  mate- 
rials which  Palestine  should  be  able  to  produce  under  good 
management,  authorise  the  conclusion  that  the  country,  if 
skilfully  administered,  should  be  capable  of  supporting  a 
population  of  at  least  five  to  six  million  inhabitants.  It 
will  be  seen,  then,  that  there  is  no  ground  for  fearing  that  by 
the  increase  of  Jewish  immigration  we  shall  ever  inconvenience 
the  Arab  population  ;  on  the  contrary,  5,000  Arab  labourers 
arc  to-day  working  in  the  colonies  of  Judaea  alone  ;  and  the 
more  our  settlements  grow  in  number  and  area,  the  greater 
will  be  the  number  of  Arab  labourers  who  will  be  able  to  find 
in  them  remunerative  employment. 

The  development  of  the  agricultural  colonies  depends  to 
a  great  extent  upon  the  development  of  the  towns  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  which  these  colonies  are  situated,  for  it  is 
the  towns  which  form  the  only  possible  market  for  numerous 
agricultural  products  (milk,  butter,  cheese,  eggs,  vegetables, 
certain  fruits)  which  will  not  keep  long,  and  must  therefore 
be  quickly  consumed  ;  while  for  products  that  will  keep  for 
some  time  the  coast  towns  are  the  indispensable  centres  of 
export.  Thus,  urban  colonisation  has  received  from  the 
various  Jewish  organisations  all  the  encouragement  that  they 
were  in  a  position  to  give. 

The  twofold  economic  role  of  the  towns,  as  centres  of  con- 
sumption and  of  export  cannot  be  properly  fulfilled  unless 
they  have  a  population  possessing,  on  the  one  hand,  sufficient 
refinement  in  its  material  needs  and  the  financial  means  for 
satisfying  them  ;  and,  on  the  other  hand,  enough  capital  for 
carrying  on  trade.  But  such  a  population  has  certain  require- 
ments, and  among  the  Jewish  middle  classes,  with  whom  we 
are  dealing  here,  these  requirements  may  be  summed  up 
under  two  heads — a  comfortable  dwelling,  and  the  opportunity 
of  giving  their  children  a  good  education.  Thus,  the  various 
Jewish  organisations  have  realised  that,  to  facilitate  the  immi- 
gration of  middle-class  people  desirous  of  settling  in  the  towns 
of  Palestine,  they  must  direct  all  their  efforts  towards  securing 
these  two  desiderata.  Thanks  to  the  support  of  the  Jewish 
National  Fund,  which,  through  the  Anglo-Palestine  Company, 
has  consented  to  make  them  the  necessary  loans,  societies  have 
been  formed  for  the  erection  of  modern  quarters  in  the  most 
important  towns.  The  first  and  largest  of  these  quarters 
was  founded  at  Jaffa,  and  was  called  "Tel- Aviv  "  ;  it  presents 
quite  a  European  picture,  and  its  broad,  well-kept  streets, 
and  its  houses  surrounded  with  little  gardens,  form  a  striking 


contrast  to  the  Arab  portion  of  the  town.  "  Tel- Aviv  ' 
means  "Hill  of  Spring'';  the  whole  quarter  breathes  a 
spirit  of  health,  order,  and  joy.  A  Jewish  loeal  adminis- 
tration, entirely  autonomous,  has  enabled  the  inhabitants  to 
obtain  a  measure  of  comfort  and  hygiene  unimaginable  in 
Jaffa  itself ;  and  even  such  details  as  the  periodical  inspection 
of  antiseptics,  with  which  barbers  are  compelled  to  disinfect 
their  instruments,  show  the  unceasing  vigilance  of  an  adminis- 
tration that  is  solicitous  for  the  welfare  of  its  citizens. 

The  schools  of  Tel-Aviv  are  numerous  and  well-organised  : 
there  are  kindergartens  and  primary  schools,  a  secondary 
school  for  girls,  a  training  school  for  female  teachers,  a  grammar 
school  with  27  teachers  and  600  pupils  (400  boys,  200  girls), 
and  a  school  of  music  with  90  pupils  ;  in  all  these  institutions, 
without  distinction,  the  language  of  instruction  is  Hebrew. 
There  is  a  public  library,  together  with  literary,  scientific, 
musical,  and  dramatic  societies,  and  a  gymnastic  club. 

Tel- Aviv  is  growing  every  day  ;  and  similar  urban  quarters 
provided  with  the  same  conveniences  are  being  built  in  the 
other  large  towns,  in  Jerusalem  and  Haifa.  At  Haifa,  on 
the  slopes  of  Mount  Carmel,  a  new  quarter  is  being  built  round 
the  nucleus  formed  by  the  future  Jewish  Institute  for  Technical 
Education  in  Palestine  :  while  on  the  Mount  of  Olives,  looking 
westwards  towards  the  place  where  once  stood  the  Temple 
of  Solomon,  and  eastwards  towards  the  Jordan,  the  Dead 
Sea  and  the  blue  mountains  of  Moab,  the  Jewish  National 
Fund  recently  bought  a  site  on  which  the  Jewish  University 
of  Jerusalem  will  be  erected  in  the  very  near  future. 

Thus,  the  difficulty  of  giving  the  children  a  good  education 
— a  consideration  so  important  for  members  of  the  "  people  of 
the  Book  " — has  already  ceased  to  be  an  obstacle  to  the  immi- 
gration cf  well-to-do  Jewish  classes.  The  existing  schools, 
on  the  whole,  meet  even  exacting  requirements,  and  in  point 
of  fact  for  some  years  past  a  growing  number  of  A\rell-to-do 
families  has  come  to  the  towns  of  Palestine,  to  swell  the  valu- 
able element  of  traders  and  consumers. 

One  of  the  most  interesting  points  about  Jewish  life  in 
Palestine  is  the  entire  administrative  autonomy  of  the  colonies. 
Each  of  them  is  administered  by  a  "  Waad,"  or  Council,  which 
represents  it  in  outside  relations,  and  particularly  before  the 
authorities  of  the  Ottoman  Government,  and  also  directs  all  its 
internal  affairs.  The  Council  is  elected  every  year  by  the 
General  Assembly  of  the  inhabitants,  the  right  to  vote  being- 
exercised  by  all,  men  or  women,  who  possess  holdings  of 
land  registered  in  their  own  names  in  the  books  of  the  colony 
as  well  as  by  all  who,  without  being  landowners,  have  been 
living  in  the  colony  for  at  least  two  years  and  pay 
taxes      regularly.       The        Council      registers      owners      of 


real  estate,  as  well  as  births,  marriages,  and  deaths.  It  is 
assisted  in  its  labours  by  several  committees.  A  Valuation 
Committee  helps  it  to  distribute  among  the  inhabitants, 
according  to  the  income  and  the  family  burdens  of  each,  the 
total  amount  of  taxes  to  be  paid  to  the  Government,  as  well  as 
the  internal  taxes  which  are  needed  to  supply  the  colony's 
budget.  An  Education  Committee  directs  the  working  of  the 
communal  schools  and  of  the  kindergartens.  A  Committee  of 
Public  Security  organises  and  supervises  the  police  service  ;  a 
certain  number  of  colonies,  by  annual  contracts,  entrust  this 
service  to  the  force  of  Jewish  watchmen  known  as  "  Hashomer." 
An  Arbitration  Committee  settles  the  disputes  arising  between 
the  colonists  themselves,  and  often  between  the  colonists  and 
their  Arab  neighbours  ;  for  it  is  interesting  to  observe  that  the 
reputation  for  ability  and  impartiality  of  the  Jewish  arbitrators 
stands  very  high  among  their  Arab  neighbours.  The  Council 
concerns  itself  with  public  hygiene,  which  comprises  the  main- 
tenance of  the  doctor,  the  chemist,  and  in  some  cases  of  the 
hospital  nurse  ;  it  administers  the  water  supply,  the  public 
baths,  and  the  upkeep  of  the  streets  ;  it  controls  the  quality  of 
certain  necessities  of  life,  such  as  bread.  Special  committees 
deal  with  questions  of  charity,  etc. 

Recognising  the  advantages  of  autonomous  local  administra- 
tion,  the  Jews  naturally  take  upon  themselves  and  faithfully 
carry  out  all  the  duties  which  this  system  involves.  Neverthe- 
less, among  these  duties  there  is  more  than  one  that  more 
properly  belongs  to  the  central  government.  Thus,  if  order 
and  security  were  better  established  in  the  country,  the 
colonies  would  not  have  to  spend  on  their  rural  police  service 
the  enormous  sums  which  they  devote  to  it  at  present.  For 
instance,  in  Rechoboth,  a  colony  of  900  inhabitants,  this  service 
alone  costs  £1,000  a  year.  Fortunately,  for  some  of  their 
expenses,  such  as  schools,  doctor,  chemist,  and  hospital  nurse, 
certain  colonies  receive  subsidies  from  the  various  Jewish 
organisations  which  have  already  been  mentioned. 

As  in  the  case  of  the  rural  police  service,  the  Government's 
indifference  towards  sanitary  conditions  has  compelled  the 
Jews  themselves  to  take  the  necessary  measures.  In  the 
country  the  large  uncultivated  areas  and  the  numerous  marshy 
localities  ;  in  the  towns  the  terrible  distress  of  the  poor,  their 
unwholesome  food  and  unhealthy  houses,  and,  above  all,  the 
absence  of  suitable  drinking-water — these  are  the  factors  which 
play  an  essential  part  in  the  propagation  of  two  great  Pales- 
tinian scourges,  malaria  and  eye  diseases.  In  order  to  fight 
malaria  in  the  settlements,  the  Jews  have  planted  millions  of 
eucalyptuses,  and  these  trees,  through  their  great  power  of 
absorption  and  evaporation,  have  brought  health  to  many 
places  that  were  formerly  marshy  and  uninhabitable.     In  the 


towns  the  Jewish  Health  Bureau  of  Jerusalem,  maintained  by 
the  American  philanthropist,  Mr.  Nathan  Straus,  and  the 
Society  of  Jewish  Physicians  and  Naturalists,  undertake  the 
struggle  against  malaria  and  eye  disease  ;  and  under  the  central 
direction  of  this  institution  the  local  doctors  in  certain  Jewish 
colonies  have  undertaken  a  systematic  war  against  trachoma. 
Jewish  hospitals  exist  in  all  the  important  towns  (four  at 
Jerusalem,  one  at  Jaffa,  one  at  Haifa,  one  at  Safed,  one  at 
Hebron) ;  at  Jerusalem  there  are  an  ophthalmic  hospital,  a 
large  house  of  refuge  for  the  aged,  an  institute  for  the  blind,  and 
a  lunatic  asylum.  In  all  colonies  of  any  importance  there  are 
a  doctor  and  a  chemist,  and  many  of  them  possess  an 

But  there  is  one  domain  in  which  the  Jews,  perhaps  even 
more  than  in  the  cases  above-mentioned,  have  found  themselves 
compelled  to  carry  out  works  of  public  utility  which  should 
properly  have  been  accomplished  by  the  Government— that  is, 
the  improvement  of  means  of  communication.  In  Palestine, 
where,  railways  being  scarce,  much  travelling  is  done  by  carriage 
and  goods  are  transported  almost  entirely  by  camel  or  by 
waggon,  roads  form  one  of  the  vital  nerves  of  the  economic 
organism  of  the  country.  Yet  perhaps  no  question  receives 
so  little  attention  from  the  Government  as  the  construction 
and  maintenance  of  these  precious  means  of  communication. 
Since  the  rapid  agricultural  development  of  the  Jewish  colonies 
and  of  the  lands  which  surround  them  has  necessitated  the 
existence  of  a  network  of  good  roads  to  connect  them  with  one 
another  and  with  the  towns,  the  Jews  have  found  themselves, 
obliged  to  undertake  the  improvement  of  the  existing  highways 
and  the  construction  of  new  ones.  Thus,  they  have  improved 
and  still  maintain  the  road  from  Jaffa  to  Tel -Aviv  ;  and  at 
their  own  expense  they  have  built  excellent  new  highways  of 
macadam,  which  in  Judaea  connect  Rechoboth  with  Wad-el- 
Chanin,  Wad-el-Chanin  with  Rishon-le-Zion,  Rishon-le-Zion 
with  the  road  from  Jaffa  to  Jerusalem,  and  in  Galilee  Poriah 
with  Kinnereth,  and  Rosh-Pinah  with  the  shore  of  Lake 

The  general  impression  which  emerges  from  the  facts  set 
forth  above  seems  to  be  that  the  Jews,  in  all  their  activities  in 
Palestine,  have  shown  themselves  to  be  conscientious  and 
skilful  administrators.  With  limited  means,  and  without  any 
support  from  the  local  government — nay,  often  in  the  face  of 
its  frank  ill-will — they  have  succeeded  within  a  generation  in 
setting  up  a  colonial  organisation  which  for  the  country  as  a 
whole  is  a  most  powerful  leaven  of  progress.  It  is  true  that 
they  may  have  derived  many  valuable  and  instructive  hints 
from  the  experience  of  the  great  colonising  nations  of  Europe, 
and  that  the  high  average  of  intelligence  and  the  progressive 


spirit  shown  by  the  farmers  and  other  Jewish  immigrants  have 
notably  lightened  their  task  ;  but  the  grand  secret  of  their 
success  lies  in  their  two-thousand-years-old  longing  for  Zion, 
in  their  passionate  love  for  these  plains  and  mountains  which 
saw  the  growth  and  flowering-time  of  their  race,  in  that  fierce 
idealism  which  makes  them  cling  to  the  soil  of  Palestine,  ready 
to  fertilise  it  with  their  sweat,  and  to  suffer  the  direst  privations 
and  the  cruellest  martyrdoms  rather  than  be  forced  to  leave  it 
a  second  time. 

Provided  that  the  Jews  are  allowed  to  continue  their  labours 
in  peace,  they  will  succeed  in  restoring  to  Palestine  its  old 
prosperity,  and  even  more.  They  have  the  necessary  will  and 
aptitude  ;  they  will  find  the  necessary  means.  The  general 
economic  situation  is  favourable,  and  presages  a  speedy  revival 
for  the  count ry  ;  but  does  the  country  possess  in  itself  the 
materials  that  are  indispensable  for  this  revival  ?  We  affirm 
that  it  does,  and  the  proofs  of  this  statement  will  form  the 
conclusion  of  the  present  study. 

The  legend  goes  that  the  soil  of  Palestine  lacks  natural 
fertility,  and  that  the  water  supply  is  not  sufficient  to  make 
intensive  cultivation  possible.  The  fact  is  that  the  soil  of 
Palestine,  to-day  as  in  ancient  times,  is  remarkably  fertile  for 
.one  who  takes  the  trouble  to  work  it.  Apart  from  a  few  un- 
important exceptions,  every  foot  of  land  can  be  utilised 
for  agriculture.  Along  the  Mediterranean  shore  the  plains 
run  side  by  side,  each  richer  than  the  preceding  one.  First, 
in  the  south,  comes  the  plain  of  Gaza,  where  the  barley  for 
brewing  is  better  than  at  any  other  spot  in  the  world  ;  then, 
towards  the  middle  part  of  the  coast,  round  Jaffa,  lies  the 
great  plain  of  Sharon,  with  its  soil  of  clay  and  chalk,  covered 
with  orchards  of  orange-trees  and  almond-trees ;  to  the 
north  are  the  plain  of  Esdraelon,  whose  soil,  of  basaltic  origin, 
rich  in  humus,  is  famous  as  in  days  of  old  for  its  abundant 
crops  of  sesame,  and  the  plain  of  Beisan,  famous  for  fields  of 
wheat.  The  limestone  hills  of  Judaea  and  Samaria  were  covered 
in  biblical  and  Roman  times  with  artificially  raised  terraces 
of  fertile  earth  maintained  by  low  stone  walls  and  irrigated 
by  means  of  the  rain-water  collected  in  natural  pits  or  rock- 
hewn  cisterns  ;  thanks  to  these  terraces,  the  whole  of  these 
mountainous  regions  must  have  been  one  uninterrupted 
stretch  of  orchards  and  gardens.  Since  then,  through  neglect 
on  the  part  of  the  inhabitants,  the  terraces  have  been  allowed 
to  be  destroyed,  and  the  fertile  soil  of  the  hills  has  been  washed 
away.  To-day  only  a  very  limited  number  of  vineyards  and 
orchards  of  olive  and  fig  trees  exist  in  the  mountains  of  Judaea. 
But  the  restoration  of  the  terraces,  which  we  shall  undertake, 
will  undoubtedly  turn  even  these  barren  rocks  once  more 
into  "  a  land  flowing  with  milk  and  honev."     In  the  so-called 


44  desert  of  Judaea,"  which  is  in  fact  a  steppe  and  not  a  desert, 
numerous  flocks  of  sheep  and  goats  find,  even  in  the  dry  period 
of  summer,  a  natural  pasturage  that  suffices  for  their  needs. 
The  valley  of  the  Jordan,  a  gigantic  natural  rift  whose  southern 
portion  lies  1,200  feet  below  the  level  of  the  Mediterranean  Sea. 
and  which  is  protected  by  high  mountains  both  on  the  east 
and  on  the  west,  owes  to  these  eircum stances  a  climate  similar 
to  that  of  Nubia,  and  a  very  rich  tropical  flora.  Finally, 
beyond  the  Jordan,  there  stretch  to  the  south  the  steppes  of 
Moab,  well  suited  for  the  breeding  of  sheep  on  a  large  scale  : 
farther  to  the  north  the  highlands  of  Gilead,  with  their  forests 
of  oak  and  pine  and  numerous  herds  of  cattle  ;  and  still  farther 
to  the  north  the  great  fertile  tableland  of  Hauran.  renowned 
for  its  fields  of  wheat. 

So  much  for  the  quality  of  the  soil.  As  for  the  moisture 
necessary  for  vegetation,  the  annual  average  rainfall  (20  to  28 
inches)  is  equal  to  that  of  Central  Europe  ;  the  difference  is 
that  all  this  quantity  of  water  falls  within  the  space  of  six 
months,  there  being  no  rain  between  April  and  October.  But 
this  uneven  distribution  has  been  met  since  very  ancient 
times  bv  the  construction  of  cisterns  for  storing'  the  water 
from  the  winter  rains  ;  and  to-day.  with  modern  appliances, 
it  would  be  possible  to  construct  large  dams  for  the  same 
purpose  in  all  the  mountainous  parts  of  the  country. 

The  six  rivers  of  the  Plain  of  Sharon,  and  the  two  of  the 
Plain  of  Esdraelon.  carry  water  all  the  year  in  the  lower  part 
of  their  courses,  while  the  Jordan  and  its  various  tributaries, 
and  the  Lake  of  Tiberias  itself,  would  suffice  for  the  irrigation 
of  all  the  great  Vallev  of  the  Ghoi\  which  extends  for  84  miles 
from  Lake  Merom  to  the  Dead  Sea.  In  Galilee,  in  Gilead 
and  in  Jaulan  there  are  numberless  little  rivulets  and  springs 
which  could  profitably  be  used  for  various  agricultural  pur- 
poses. And  in  the  whole  coastal  plain  one  needs  only  dig 
to  a  depth  of  10  to  80  feet  in  order  to  find  aquiferous  strata 
which  would  furnish  water  for  irrigation  in  quantities  sufficient 
to  convert  the  whole  of  Philistia  and  Sharon,  that  is  from 
Gaza  to  Haifa,  into  one  great  irrigated  garden.  Finally,  the 
dew  itself  is  so  abundant  during  the  summer  nights  that  it 
is  equivalent  to  a  light  rain,  and  furnishes  the  vegetation  with 
enough  moisture  to  ripen  the  summer  crops,  to  supply  the 
needs  of  non-watered  trees  (olives,  figs,  almonds,  vines),  and 
to  maintain  on  the  pastures  of  the  '*  desert  of  Judaea  '  the 
grass  required  by  the  numerous  flocks  of  sheep  and  goats. 

Thus  to  an  impartial  scientific  examination  Palestine  reveals 
itself  as  a  country  of  great  fertility,  though  this  fertility  is 
often  latent,  and  demands  certain  efforts  before  it  can  be 
called  into  play.  The  great  differences  of  height  and  of 
climate  in  the  different  parts  of  the  country  make  it  possible 


to  cultivate  side  by  side  the  products  of  the  temperate  and 
of  the  torrid  zones.  It  is  the  same  with  the  rearing  of  domestic 
animals,  which  is  also  susceptible  of  great  development  ; 
the  Arab  thoroughbred,  the  mule,  the  caracul  sheep  of  Tur- 
kestan, and  the  ostrich  might  be  bred  with  considerable  profit. 

In  the  sphere  of  industry  the  possibilities  of  development 
are  no  less  notable.  The  manufacture  of  oil  and  soap  is  supplied 
with  raw  material  by  the  plantations  of  olives,  almonds,  and 
castor-oil  plants,  and  by  the  cultivation  of  sesame,  ground- 
nuts, and  cotton. 

The  extraction  of  essential  oils  and  the  manufacture  of 
perfumes  wTill  find  abundant  raw  material  in  orange-peel  and 
lemon-peel,  in  the  blossoms  of  geraniums,  orange-trees,  and 
roses,  as  well  as  in  those  of  the  spiny  acacias,  used  all  over 
Judaea  for  the  construction  of  quickset  hedges,  and  of  the 
wild  thyme  which  abounds  at  the  foot  of  the  mountains  of 

The  manufacture  of  wine,  brandy,  and  raisins  is  dependent 
on  the  cultivation  of  the  vine,  and  is  still  susceptible  of  great 

Cereals  furnish  the  raw  material  for  milling,  starch-making, 
and  the  manufacture  of  macaroni ;  milling  in  particular  has 
a  future  before  it,  as  the  country  annually  consumes  £80,000 
worth  of  foreign  flour. 

Every  year  Palestine  imports,  via  Jaffa,  nearly  £80,000 
worth  of  sugar.  Now,  in  the  whole  coastal  plain,  and  above 
all  in  the  Jordan  Valley,  the  sugar-cane  thrives  excellently., 
while  the  Plain  of  Esdraelon  and  certain  parts  cf  the  coastal 
plain  possess  very  suitable  soil  for  beetroot.  Hence  the  sugar 
industry  seems  to  possess  every  chance  of  success  ;  it  would 
have  the  great  advantage  of  giving  valuable  residues  as  food 
for  cattle  (beetroot  slices)  or  as  manure  (bagasse  of  cane). 

The  manufacture  of  preserves  might  profitably  utilise  the 
olives  and  the  numerous  vegetables  and  fruits  of  the  country  ; 
and  when  the  fishing  industry  acquires  the  economic  importance 
which  is  its  due  in  view  of  the  great  length  of  the  coastline, 
the  possibility  of  obtaining  fish  and  olive-oil  simultaneously 
and  cheaply  will  involve  the  manufacture  of  fish  preserves, 
the  residues  of  which  (fish  offal)  form  an  excellent  manure, 
valuable  for  a  country  where  dung  is  scanty. 

In  Palestine,  where  tobacco  grows  easily  and  is  of  good 
quality,  the  cigarette  industry  should  yield  at  least  as  good 
results  as  in  Egypt,  where  all  the  tobacco  is  imported. 

Papyrus,  which  grows  wild  and  in  considerable  quantities 
throughout  the  Jordan  Valley,  but  above  all  'in  its  upper 
portion,  might  well  furnish  the  raw  material  for  the  manu- 
facture of  certain  very  fine  kinds  of  paper. 

Jaffa  annually  imports  more  than  £240,000  worth  of  woollens, 


and  exports  large  quantities  of  sheep's  and  camel's  wool. 
Cannot  the  spinning-  industry  find  in  the  country  both  its 
raw  material  and  a  ready  market  ?  Tanning  might  profitably 
be  developed.  Palestine  exports  a  large  number  of  hides, 
and  imports  leather.  The  country  itself  possesses  good 
tanning  materials,  such  as  Sumach,  Shinia,  and  Acacia 
mollissima  which  the  Jewish  Agricultural  Experiment  Station 
has  introduced,  and  the  bark  of  which  is  rich  in  tannin  of 
admirable  quality. 

To  pass  to  a  different  sphere,  the  building  industry,  whose 
importance  grows  from  day  to  day  in  consequence  of  the 
immigration  of  the  Jews  in  particular,  is  certainly  destined 
to  make  great  strides.  Already  the  manufacture  of  cement 
stone  has  acquired  a  certain  importance.  The  cement  which 
is  used  is  imported  from  abroad;  and  yet  in  Palestine,  in 
favourable  spots,  we  find  the  material  necessary  for  making 

The  utilisation  of  the  mineral  wealth  of  the  country  might 
also  form  the  basis  of  a  large  number  of  industrial  enterprises. 
The  Dead  Sea  and  the  important  beds  of  Hasbeya  produce 
asphalt    of   a    superior    quality.     Throughout    Transjordania, 
and  notably  near  Es-Salt,  we  find  numerous  beds  of  phosphate. 
The  water  of  the  Dead  Sea,  which  contains  24' 4G  per  cent,  of 
salts,  and  its  deposits,  are  rich  in  potassium  and  bromides. 
Petroleum  probably  exists   at  various   points  in  the  country. 
In  the  region  of  Sidon  there  are  strata  of  iron  ore,  red  and 
yellow  ochre,   and  coal.       Important  deposits   of  chalk  and 
plaster  exist  in  the  mountains  of  Judsea  and  the  Jordan  Valley. 
There  is  one  more  industry  that  certainly  has  a  big  future 
before  it — if  indeed  it  can  be  called  an  industry — and  that  is 
the  tourist  industry.     Already  the  peculiar  beauty  of  Palestine, 
and  its  wealth  in  sanctuaries  of  every  creed  and  in  important 
historical  monuments,  bring  to  the  country  between  15,000 
and  18.000  visitors  every  year.     But  there  are  many  other 
tilings  besides  in  Palestine  which  might  attract  the  foreigner. 
Along  the  coast,  where  the  climate  is  similar  to  that  of  the 
Riviera,    several    seaside    resorts    might    with    advantage    be 
established.     The  district  round  Jericho  in  winter,  the  shores 
of  Lake  Tiberias  in  spring,  the  slopes  of  Carmel  and  Tabor  in 
summer,  form  excellent  holiday  resorts.     In  the  Jordan  Valley 
and    on    the    shores    of   Lake"  Tiberias  there    are    many  hot 
sulphurous   springs   which   possess   remarkable   curative   pro- 
perties for  rheumatic  complaints,   and  are  obvious  starting- 
points  for  the  watering-places  of  the  future.     As  for  lovers  of 
the  chase,  they  will  find  in  Palestine  varied  and  abundant 
game,   such  as"  foxes,  gazelles,   mountain  goats,   eagles,   wild 
duck,  wild  pigeons,  partridges,  teal,  and  many  more.     Tourists 
who  visit  the  East  are  generally  wealthy  ;    so  there  can  be 


no  doubt  that  a  skilful  organisation  of  the  tourist  industry, 
such  as  has  made  the  fortune  of  Switzerland  and  the  Riviera! 
may  become  for  Palestine  a  potent  source  of  prosperity. 

Before  leaving  this  subject  of  the  industrial  possibilities  of 
Palestine,  we  must  say  a  few  words  as  to  the  natural  power 
which  manufacture  and  agriculture  have  at  their  disposal. 
The  Jordan,  with  its  great  differences  of  level  over  relatively 
short  distances,  develops  sufficient  power  to  work  enormous 
turbines.  Some  of  its  tributaries,  such  as  the  Wadi-Fedjas, 
which  still  shows  numerous  remains  of  ancient  mills,  and  the 
Yarmuk,  which  rushes  down  from  the  lofty  Djolan  tablelands 
into  the  Jordan  Valley,  forming  several"  cataracts  of  great 
height  and  considerable  energy,  might  supply  motive  power 
for  a  large  number  of  factories  ;  the  same  is  true  of  the  rivers 
of  the  coastal  plain— the  Audja,  the  Nahr-el-Zerka,  and  the 

The  winds  are  favourable  for  the  installation  of  aeromotors  ; 
that  of  the  Jewish  Agricultural  Experiment  Station  works,  on 
an  average,  eight  hours  a  day. 

From  the  point  of  view  of  artificially  generated  motive 
power,  the  fact  that  the  most  important  part  of  the  country  for 
economic  purposes  is  a  plain  running  parallel  with  the  coast  and 
of  a  depth  nowhere  exceeding  fifty  miles  is  peculiarly  favourable 
to  the  establishment,  in  the  immediate  neighbourhood  of  the 
ports,  of  large  central  power  stations,  which  by  suitable  com- 
munications would  distribute  motive  power  over  the  whole 
country.  These  stations,  worked  by  steam  or  motor  engines, 
would  find  their  most  certain  customers  in  the  innumerable 
orchards  and  irrigated  fields  which  a  few  years  hence  will 
probably  cover  the  coastal  plain.  As  for  the  necessary  fuel, 
these  stations,  being  situated  along  the  coast,  will  be  able  to 
procure  it  easily  from  abroad  ;  but  they  might  also  find  it  in 
the  lignite  strata  which  exist  in  the  country,  or  in  the  coarse  and 
otherwise  useless  straw  of  sesame,  or  in  the  timber  of  the 
forests  of  eucalyptus  which  the  Jewish  settlers  have  planted, 
and  will  continue  to  plant,  in  every  part  of  Palestine  ;  thev 
might  also  make  profitable  use  of  the  important  layers  of  peat 
m  the  plain  which  surrounds  Lake  Merom,  or,  by  a  process  of 
briquettes  similar  to  that  employed  in  the  Soudan,  utilise  the 
papyrus  and  other  aquatic  plants  which  grow  wild,  in  enormous 
quantities,  all  along  the  Jordan  Valley. 

The  agricultural  and  industrial  development  of  Palestine  will 
both  be  helped  by  and  stimulate  a  considerable  growth  of 
commerce,  for  which  the  position  of  the  country  makes  it 
eminently  fitted.  Indeed,  the  geographical  situation  of 
Palestine,  between  the  Baghdad  Railway  and  the  Suez  Canal, 
between  the  Mediterranean  and  the  Red  Sea,  which  marks  it 
out  as  the  predestined  junction  of  the  great  transcontinental 


European,  Asiatic  and  African  railway  systems  of  the  future, 
is  pregnant  with  remarkable  commercial  possibilities.  There 
is  no  doubt  that  in  a  not  distant  future  we  shall  see  Palestine 
become  an  important  centre  for  goods  and  passenger  traffic 
between  the  three  continents  of  the  Old  World. 

But  for  the  realisation  of  all  these  aims  it  is  essential  that 
the  present  administrative  chaos  should  give  place  to  a  modern 
system  of  government  inspired  by  no  other  consideration  than 
the  welfare  of  the  country.  The  efforts  of  private  initiative 
must  be  assisted  and  encouraged  bv  such  measures  of  reform 
as  we  have  a  right  to  expect  from  any  conscientious  Govern- 
ment, such  as  the  creation  of  accurate  land  registers,  of  an 
agrarian  bank,  of  chambers  of  commerce,  agriculture  and 
industry,  and  of  a  uniform  currency  for  the  whole  country  ;* 
the  construction  of  convenient  harbours  and  warehouses  in  the 
principal  towns  of  the  coast ;  the  improvement  of  the  existing 
roads  and  the  construction  of  new  ones  ;  the  establishment,  in 
place  of  the  present  tithes,  which  inflict  a  crushing  burden  on 
gross  produce  and  prevent  intensive  agriculture,  of  a  rational 
and  equitable  land-tax  ;  a  radical  reform  of  the  law  courts  and 
police,  so  that  they  may  become  capable  of  insuring  effective 
justice  and  security  in  the  country  ;  the  promulgation  and 
execution  of  modern  laws  as  regards  mortgages  and  transfers 
of  property  ;  and  the  institution  of  bounties  for  agriculture 
and  industrv. 

Still  more  essential  than  all  these  reforms  and  new  departures, 
in  order  that  the  remarkable  economic  possibilities  of  the 
country  may  be  fully  exploited,  is  the  immigration  of  an  intelr 
ligent  and  industrious  population,  which  would  come  to 
Palestine  not  in  order  to  make  money  and  then  go  away  again, 
but  in  order,  at  one  and  the  same  time,  to  gain  its  own  sub- 
sistence and  contribute  to  the  economic  progress  of  the  country. 
This  fusion  of  interests,  or,  rather,  this  subordination  of  the 
interests  of  the  individual  to  those  of  the  country,  presupposes 
a  lofty  idealism,  and  can  only  be  demanded  from  a  people  which 
looks  upon  it  not  as  a  sacrifice,  but  as  an  act  of  love  and  of 
self-emancipation.  There  is  only  one  such  people,  and  that  is 
the  Jewish  people. 

*  At  present  the  coins  issued  by  the  Government  Have  different  values  in  the  various 
towns  of  Palestine,  and  the  difference  in  some  cases  amounts  to  20  per  cent. 



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Tolkowsky,  Samuel,  1886 

The  Jewish  colonisation 









onfi  A 

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